Ugandan High Court Rules that all Ugandans citizen have the right to privacy and dignity

10 Jan, 2011 | Press Releases

Download the press release

No Peace Without Justice (NPWJ), the Italian Radical association Certi Diritti, the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty (NRPTT) and Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), warmly welcome and applaud the Ugandan High Court’s decision that the publication by ‘The Rolling Stone’, a Ugandan tabloid, of alleged LGBTI persons’ names, addresses and places where they socialise, as well as calling for their lynching constitutes a violation of Ugandan constitution.

On 3rd January 2011, the Court ruled that the case is not about the legitimacy of homosexuality under Ugandan law as such, but about the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens: the court ruled that the publications violated the Ugandan Constitution both the right to dignity as well as the right to privacy, which attaches to LGBTI persons as to all other citizens. Most importantly, the court ruled that even existing anti-homosexuality legislation, including Section 145 of the Penal Code, cannot be used to punish persons for being or being alleged to be homosexual, but relates to the specific acts listed.

The legal battle is not yet over: the editor of Rolling Stone threatened an appeal against the court decision equating homosexuality with terrorism and claiming that the court decision jeopardizes the ability of newspapers to investigate criminal activity. The church leader Pastor Solomon Male, of the National Coalition against Homosexuality and Sexual Abuses in Uganda also condemned the ruling saying that it seeks to establish homosexuality as a human right, contrary to Ugandan Law.

NPWJ, Certi Diritti, the NRPTT and SMUG recognize the importance of the decision of the Court to stress that the right to life and dignity of sexual minorities were violated. This provides some protection to other Ugandans who are, or who are perceived to be, homosexual. The ruling provides also an important precedent for any other attempt by the media to harass citizens for their alleged gender identity or sexual orientation.

The Ugandan High Court ruling, along with the recent decision to retain reference to sexual orientation in the United Nations General Assembly Resolution against extrajudicial executions as well as the European Parliament Resolution on LGBTI rights in Uganda in December 2010, constitute a clear messages that the denial of LGBTI rights as a political tool will not be tolerated either at the domestic or the international level.

NPWJ, Certi Diritti, the NRPTT and SMUG denounce the increase of harassments, violence and threats that LGBTI persons are experiencing in Uganda since the first article published by the Rolling Stone and congratulate the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights and Constitutional Law for their victory before the Ugandan High Court, and believe that the time has come for the Government of Uganda to explicitly reassure all people in Uganda, wherever they come from, that they will be guaranteed the protection of the State and of the law against threats and violence regardless of their real or alleged sexual orientation.

For further information, please contact Elio Polizzotto (NPWJ), email:, phone: +32 2 548 39 21 and Advocacy Litigation Officer (SMUG) phone: + 256 773104971. Check also the websites: and